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Know your history & geography

Many of us are researching our ancestry from a great distance. We might not easily be able to travel to the location our ancestors lived and see the local landscape. This may be for many reasons but it’s especially true at the moment, when Covid-19 means we are safer limiting our movements. The above marriage…

Review of Back to Our Past

Back to our Past (BTOP) has existed in a physical format for several years now. It usually comprises of an exhibition area with stands from various repositories, commercial entities and family history societies, and runs a strand of lectures on traditional genealogical research. In recent years, these lectures have been largely focused on records offered…

Ode to a great-great grandmother

For lots of our ancestors, we don’t know what they look like, or what they liked to read or eat. We can look them up in records and gain some information. One of my great-great grandmothers was called Anne Rourke (though her surname is variably spelled in different records). She was born during the Great…

Ages of women giving birth

In a previous blog post, I looked at the sizes of families and infant mortality across three generations of my tree. This time I’ve examined the average age of women having their first child. I’ve sampled 100 Irish women, whose age can be verified from a birth or baptismal record and compared the age each…

New heights

While I’m working away on other people’s genealogy, I always try to do a bit on my own. As of today, I have 3053 people in my family tree. These are people who can be proven to be related to me, either by records (the vast majority) or DNA with records to back it up.…

Ancestry Hints – how to use them

If you’re a user of Ancestry, and you have a tree attached to your account or DNA results, then you’re familiar with this little leaf which appears to give you hints. These suggestions come in 2 forms. This blog discusses how to know when to accept or ignore them. Record suggestions – Ancestry has millions…

Happy St Patrick’s Day

Today is not the St Patrick’s Day we’d hoped for in Ireland. Our parades are cancelled and most people are cocooned at home, worried about COVID-19. Let’s take a look at some St Patrick’s day-related genealogy. This blog post stems from some research done as part of the National Library’s Genealogy Advisory Service last year.…

Christmas genealogy

Irishgenealogy.ie is one of the top sites for Irish ancestral research. It contains the historic civil records for Ireland (with data protection limits in place). I use it daily in my work. You can search by a full name or just a first name or surname and also by specific date parameters. But you can…

Results in unexpected places

Readers of my blog will know about my long-term Ure One Name Study. A sister of my Ure ancestor, Margaret, was married by 1901, and widowed by 1911. She had one son. The husband was not present for the census and up til recently I’d never found any evidence of a marriage or the birth…

Always do your own research

I was recently doing some work for a client from Cork. The family had 2 branches, based in Monalahy and Newcastle, 2 townlands near Blarney. When I looked at the 1911 census, I found the 2 branches easily. But for the 1901 census, it wasn’t so easy, as both townlands seemed to be missing from…